Saturday, October 28, 2006

One from the vaults.

Back when all I used a computer for was playing Summer Games with myself, I used to buy a magazine called Song Hits. It had the lyrics to most popular songs at the time, along with articles and pictures and charts and ads. Had the Internet been available to me for lyric searches back then, I would have missed out on a defining moment of my life.

I watched a lot of music videos in the '80s, and as a result of seeing many of them over and over, I ended up making fun of every video I saw. The funniest ones to me were usually the serious videos that told stories about people breaking up, like Missing You by John Waite. Damn that Sesame Street Live tape he was listening to, anyway.

One night in late 1986, I saw the video for the Steve Winwood song Freedom Overspill, and my mind would never be the same. It was artsy, of course. I had no idea what the video was about, some sort of eye test gone wrong, maybe, but being 12, one scene entertained the hell out of me, and that was the three-second scene of Steve Winwood standing on a chair.

Why was Steve Winwood standing on a chair? This question burned in my mind for days, until I got the December issue of Song Hits, and whose picture was in the magazine? England Dan Seals, but I'm getting to that. Steve Winwood's picture was in the magazine, and so I drew a little thought bubble next to him, with a chair in it. I wrote "chair" over all the instances of "love" in the lyrics that accompanied the picture, because I was convinced that what Steve needed was a higher chair.

All the other photos in the issue then took part in the mystery of what Steve Winwood was doing on the chair. Phil Collins was going to call Steve, Annie Lennox was afraid Steve would fall off the chair, and eventually, El DeBarge took perverse joy in announcing that Steve had, in fact, fallen off the chair. How did this happen, asked a man in a guitar ad. Klymaxx didn't do it, so who did?

England Dan Seals should never have worn his "I'm a chair kicker" hat. He was pronounced guilty by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Freedom Overspill hit #1.

It was, I'm sure, a Saturday. I'm sure lots of sugar had been involved. I know it was after midnight.

I recently found the video for Freedom Overspill online, and it doesn't make any more sense twenty years later, but I wouldn't really want it to. However, having a computer capable of more than 16 colors, I was now able to do a screencap and make wallpaper. I went all Bob Ross with the smudge brush. I'm totally using this right now. If anyone asks what it's about, I'm just leaving it at, "I like Steve Winwood."

Because I do, you know. That man can do things with a synth.

(Oh yeah, and the whole tree thing...I did it 'cause, like, trees, they take over everything if you let them. Yeah. Nevermind that it has nothing to do with talking too much. Trees might talk too much, I don't know.)

Steve Winwood Wallpaper

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